The article, “Report reveals inequities of climate change in Washington” on Oct. 1 showed how climate change is already harming our state, hitting the poor and communities of color the hardest. As the article noted, we now have a chance to act at the ballot box to help our most vulnerable residents. I-1631 would place a fee on greenhouse gas emissions, starting at what amounts to 13 cents for a gallon of gas, to incentivize cleaner forms of energy.
We would be in good company by putting a price on carbon: British Columbia, California, and nine northeastern states from Maryland to Massachusetts already do the same. In every case, a price on carbon has meant lower emissions and growing local economies.
Although Washington’s airwaves are drenched with oil industry-sponsored ads warning that I-1631 will cost billions for small businesses and families, groups that represent working Washingtonians know better. The Tenants Union, labor unions and the Latino Community Fund are just a few of the organizations supporting I-1631. And they have good reason: a portion of the carbon revenues will help communities most impacted by pollution.
I’m excited about I-1631 because it puts Washington in the driver’s seat on climate action. But that’s not the only reason to get excited: I-1631 also supports a new clean energy economy, protects clean water and healthy forests, and gives opportunities to communities who have the most at stake from climate change.
It’s an exciting future for Washington – we just have to vote yes.
– Alex Rudee